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Letters on Yoga - I
“The Subconscient and the Inconscient”

Letters on Yoga I - The Subconscient and the Inconscient.jpg
PDF (11 pages)
          Letters on Yoga - IV
“The Subconscient and the Integral Yoga”

Letters on Yoga IV - The Subconscient and the Integral Yoga.jpg
PDF (22 pages)

“[I]t is when the sadhana came down into the physical and subconscient that things became very difficult. I myself had to struggle for two years. For the subconscient is absolutely inert, like stone. Though my mind was quite awake above, it could not exert any influence down below. It is a Herculean labour. If I had been made to see it before, probably I would have been less enthusiastic about it. There is the virtue of blind faith! When one enters into the subconscient, it is like stepping on an unexplored continent. Previous Yogis came down to the vital level, they did not descend further, and they were quite sensible in not doing so! But if I too had left it there, the real work would have remained undone. Once the subconscient is conquered, things will become easy for those who come after. That is what is meant by the ‘realisation of one in all’.”[1]

“The subconscient of plants or animals, for example, isn’t individualized; what we call an animal’s behavior doesn’t arise from individualization but from the genius of the species. Consequently, the individual subconscient is something already evolved out of the general Subconscient. But when one descends to accomplish a work of transformation – to bring Light into the different layers of life, for instance – one descends into a cosmic, terrestrial Subconscient, not an individual Subconscient. And the work of transformation is done within the whole – not through individualization, but through the opposite movement, through a sort of universalization.

No, what I mean is that as we progress, we automatically become universalized....

Yes, necessarily.

And we are told that we have to change the Subconscient, to bring Light into it; but being universal it has no end! New vibrations keep coming in at every instant …


... vibrations from the outside, from here, there – it’s endless. How can we change it?

No, it isn’t endless – it’s limited to the earth’s atmosphere.

That’s already quite a lot!

Yes, but not endless.

Then how can we act upon it – all these vibrations that keep pouring in from all over the world, from the whole earth?

It isn’t difficult – the minute you become universalized you act upon the whole.
         Even Buddha said that if you have a vibration of desire, this vibration goes all around the terrestrial atmosphere. The opposite is what’s impossible! It’s impossible to separate yourself. You can have the idea of being separate, but you can’t be separate in reality. In fact, if you are trying to eliminate the Subconscient in yourself your movement must necessarily be general; it can’t be personal, you would never get anywhere.

Yes, of course, but these vibrations are ceaselessly re-created.

No, they are not re-created.

But there are people having wrong movements at every instant, so ... ?

So it all keeps circling round and round in the earth’s atmosphere. But compared to the universe, the earth’s atmosphere is a very tiny thing. Well, all this keeps circling around within it. And in fact, because of the movement of evolution, there is a progress. The present Inconscient is not as unconscious as the initial Inconscient, and the present Subconscient is not as subconscious nor as generalized as it was at the beginning. This is the meaning of terrestrial evolution.

But if, as you say, it keeps circling around in the earth’s atmosphere, doesn’t this mean that vibrations are ceaselessly re-created?

Not re-created – they keep circling around, which is not the same thing!
         A re-creation would mean that a new contingent of the Inconscient and Subconscient would come in from other spheres, or from the Supreme – well, this isn’t the case.”[2]

“The Inconscient (oh, all this comes to me in English, that’s the difficulty!) is meant to go and necessarily the Subconscient will go too.

Broadly speaking, does this mean that physical Matter will become conscious?

Yes, in a certain way. It will become receptive. The mode of life won’t necessarily change, but the form of life will change. Matter will become responsive. Do we say that in French?


No, receptive is one thing and responsive is another. To respond: Matter will respond to the conscious will. Indeed, this is why there is hope – how else could there be a transformation? Things would always remain as they are! What kind of earth would it be for the supramental race to live on if no Matter gave response, if Matter did not begin to vibrate and respond to the Will?”[3]

“When something is thrown out of the vital or physical, it very usually goes down into the subconscient and remains there as if in seed and comes up again when it can. That is the reason why it is so difficult to get rid of habitual vital movements or to change the character; for, supported or refreshed from this source, preserved in this matrix your vital movements, even when suppressed or repressed, surge up again and recur. The action of the subconscient is irrational, mechanical, repetitive. It does not listen to reason or the mental will. It is only by bringing the higher light and force into it that it can change.”[4]

Articles about the subconscientYear
The Finding of the Soul – Savitri's Yoga, Part 1 (Radio program)2018

  1. Talks with Sri Aurobindo, p.5, 10 December 1938
  2. Mother's Agenda 1961, 2 August 1961
  3. Ibid.
  4. Letters on Yoga – I, p.243

See also